Sunday, July 4, 2010

God Bless America

I was delighted to hear Ronan Tynan sing "God Bless America" on the radio during the seventh inning stretch at today's Boston Red Sox game in honor of the Fourth of July.

Until I heard him sing it after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 I hadn't realized it had a preamble:

While the storm clouds gather far across the sea,
Let us swear allegiance to a land that's free,
Let us all be grateful for a land so fair,
As we raise our voices in a solemn prayer

Hearing that first verse changed the whole meaning of the song for me. Of course, sometimes it takes someone who grew up outside of this country to truly appreciate the meaning of a work of art and convey it with a powerful resonance. It could be said of both Ronan Tynan and Irving Berlin.

As someone who wasn't born or raised here whenever I listen to Ronan Tynan's version of "God Bless America" my affection for the United States of America grows every bit more.

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